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Vaughn a bright spot in Falcons' preseason loss

Josh Vaughan gave the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff something to think about with final cuts coming this Saturday.

Vaughan rushed the ball five times for 83 yards in Atlanta’s 20-16 preseason loss against Jacksonville Thursday night. In what was quite possibly Vaughan’s signature preseason play, he ran the ball 65 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter.

On the carry, Vaughan found a hole behind the left guard before sprinting toward the sideline untouched for the score.

Vaughan’s superb night followed a four-carry, 42-yard performance against the Baltimore Ravens in the second preseason game. He didn’t participate in the third preseason game against Tennessee.

With that one long run against Jacksonville, it’s possible Vaughan entered into consideration for the fourth running back spot on Atlanta’s 53-man roster. He’s competing with Antone Smith and to a lesser extent, Jason Snelling. Against Jacksonville, Snelling and Smith combined for 10 carries for 38 yards.

Second-year quarterback Dominique Davis received plenty of experience in what will likely be his last game action of the 2013 season, barring an injury to starter Matt Ryan during the regular season.

Getting the start Thursday, Davis threw for 175 yards and one interception against the Jaguars. His pick came during the fourth quarter, with his pass late and behind receiver Martel Moore. Davis received extended playing time in all four preseason games, completing 41 of 78 passes for 456 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Vaughan’s touchdown run put the Falcons up 16-13 in the third quarter. Jacksonville answered at the beginning of the fourth with a 13-yard pass from Mike Kafka to receiver Jeremy Ebert, which would ultimately be the game-winning score.

Midway through the first quarter, with each team quickly possessing the ball three times each, Jaguars running back Jordan Todman scored the game’s first points with an 18-yard scamper for a touchdown.

The score was set up after four consecutive completions from Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne, with two of those passes connecting with rookie receiver Ace Sanders.

The Jaguars lengthened their lead to 10-0 with a Josh Scobee field goal early in the second quarter.

The Falcons didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 1:28 mark of the second quarter. Defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi forced a fumble from Jaguars quarterback Matt Scott before recovering it himself. Massaquoi then ran the ball nine yards into the end zone for a touchdown.

Kicker Jeremy Shelley missed the ensuing extra point after missing an earlier field goal. Shelley was later given an opportunity to redeem himself just before the half. Davis and the Falcons took control of the ball at their own 43-yard line after cornerback Desmond Trufant intercepted a pass from Jacksonville’s Scott.

Davis drove Atlanta down to the Jacksonville 25-yard line, where Shelley kicked a 41-yard attempt through the uprights with 10 seconds remaining, cutting Jacksonville’s halftime lead to 10-9.